Thoughts from the Coffee Shop

You can’t run away from your problems, but you can certainly escape reality. And for just for a moment, time will pause and everything will be okay. So, I escaped.

I woke up to waves crashing. Maybe my life isn’t so bad, I thought. The hangover still lingering and the scent of the sea in the air. It was early, and the sun was hot and shining on my skin through the enormous windows in the ceiling, but it’s  hard to be sad when you’re waking up in paradise. What is happiness though?

Ages 1-5: happiness was my mothers arms.
Ages 6-12: happiness was ballet class.
Ages 13-14: happiness was AOL messenger.
Ages 15-17: happiness was being a rebel.
Ages 18-19: happiness was independence.
Ages 20-21: happiness was my friends.
Ages 22-23: happiness was you.
Then it rained… and when it rains it fucking pours.

I no longer felt that light… But something funny happened when I woke up that morning. I felt the spark come back. My happiness had always relied on someone else… something else.
How do you teach yourself to be happy despite your surroundings and circumstances.

It’s such bullshit when people tell you to just look at the bright side… to be happy.
You don’t even notice how depressed you are until you realize you haven’t showered in two days as you lay on the couch watching law & order, ignoring the faint sound of your phone going off.

Depression isn’t crying every day. Sadness isn’t wearing a frown. It’s a feeling deep within you that you try and make go away, but you can’t.

Running away didn’t solve my problems, but escaping reality for a moment helped me reflect on what I wanted, what I had and who I was and was becoming.

Who knew that all I needed was a mental break. Maybe that is what we all need from time to time, and it doesn’t have to be in the form of a weekend vacation. It can be a night alone at a coffee shop with your favorite novel… or indulging in a lavish dinner for one. Mental health is so important, yet so many of us forget this.
I’m still not sure what it was, but I came back lighter, happier, and calmer.
I had been chasing this feeling for so long, not knowing how to reach it. These self-indulgent distractions weren’t my happiness. It wasn’t until I let go of the idea of happiness and what I thought it was that I truly found peace.

Now I stop and observe, I try not to rush life, I look up at the sky a little more and I always take the time to rest my mind. Finding peace with life was better than finding happiness.

To be find happiness in everything, seek happiness in nothing.

-M

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Trip Off the Strip

Recently I was able to take a quick “vacation” with my best friend. I use quotations because our destination was Las Vegas, and Las Vegas hardly qualifies as a vacation. Anyone who has ever been to Las Vegas knows that it truly is the city that doesn’t sleep. The drive there took a few hours and we were soon pulling up to the pearly MGM Signature gates. Being a Vegas veteran, I was craving a different experience than your typical party/club scene. I text my good friend Kat and we were soon en route to Downtown Las Vegas.
I didn’t know much about Downtown Las Vegas except that it was where the old people went. I was wrong. Murals began to line the streets of Downtown, and despite the rain it was full of life. We didn’t get to explore as much of Downtown Las Vegas as I’d hoped due to the rain, but it was definitely one of the highlights out of all of my Vegas trips.

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Our first stop was a quaint little gastropub called Park On Fremont. From the exterior this place doesn’t look like much, but that’s what makes it so great. The interior is filled with bold prints and the area behind the inside bar is home to various taxidermy animals in odd positions. The back patio is just as whimsical as the interior with its mismatched furniture and cozy fireplace. If you look hard enough you might even find the entrance into a hidden area with a seesaw. Yes, I rode it in the rain. I ordered one of their specialty cocktails called Pillow Talk, which was delicious. Prices were reasonable and most definitely cheaper than any bar on the strip. Their brunch menu looked delicious and I will definitely be back next time I find myself in sin-city.

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Park on Fremont
506 Fremont St
Las Vegas, NV 

The second place we went to was Gold Spike. I immediately started screeching on sight upon entry. There was a lounge area with literal giant silk beds in lieu of chairs and tables (typical Vegas). There was also a good size bar area inside, but Kat led us to the back patio. I have to say, this back patio, or backyard as they call it, was a literal adult playground. Supersize all of your favorite childhood games and add alcohol and you end up with the Gold Spike backyard. There was a fenced in area with beer pong tables, giant Jenga, giant chess, and trash pong. The place was relatively empty when we went, but we still enjoyed a round of trash pong in the rain with a bridal party from some irrelevant midwest state. They have live music on weekends on their badass little vintage trailer stage and Gold Spike is also home to The Real World 31. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Downtown Las Vegas.

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Who left their weave?

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Kat, our DTLV guide. Follow Kat’s rad IG @kat_longlastname.

Gold Spike
217 N Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV

Before we left we stopped by Container Park and explored until the rain had us running back to the car. Container Park is a cute little area with an adult-friendly jungle gym, chalk wall, shops, bars, and restaurants. They also have a stage which features local acts and musicians. Container Park is also home to the praying mantis pictured below. It was originally created for Burning Man by an aerospace engineer and artist. And if it weren’t already badass, it also shoots 65 ft flames at night.

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I wish it hadn’t been raining so much because I would have loved to explore Downtown Las Vegas  some more. The strip gets old and tiring, and Downtown Las Vegas is the perfect solution for this. As for the rest of my trip well, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

-M

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